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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Dec 29, 2016

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

William J. Brown, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellants, Ken Buckner and Brenda Buckner.

Attorneys 2:

James F. Logan, Jr., Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellees, Mike Goodman and Cindy Goodman.

Jerrold L. Becker, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Hugh Edward Mayes and Kay Mayes d/b/a B&B Construction/B&B Moving and Foundation Services.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This case involves a contract to purchase a home on the sellers' condition that the home be removed from the sellers' real property at the buyers' expense. The sellers and the buyers entered into a written contract on January 25, 2013, at which time the buyers paid a $2,500 deposit toward an agreed price of $5,000 for the home. The contract did not set forth a deadline for the home to be removed from the sellers' property, although the sellers were required to demonstrate to the lender financing their new construction loan that the home had been removed. The buyers contacted several potential house movers to transport the home but did not execute a final written contract with any of them. The sellers subsequently entered into a written agreement with movers who had originally been contacted by the buyers, retaining the movers to “take possession” of the home and transport it but providing the original buyers a first option to purchase. After learning of the agreement between the sellers and the movers, the buyers contacted the movers, “firing” them. The sellers then had the home demolished. The buyers filed a complaint against the sellers, alleging breach of a home sales contract. The sellers filed a countercomplaint, alleging that the buyers had materially breached the contract first by failing to timely remove the home. The buyers subsequently filed a second complaint against the movers, alleging intentional interference with contractual relations. The trial court consolidated the two actions. Following presentation of the buyers' proof during a bench trial, the trial court found that the buyers had materially breached the contract. The court granted the sellers' and the movers' respective motions for involuntary dismissal pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 41.02. Upon hearing the sellers' evidence regarding damages, the court entered a judgment in favor of the sellers in the amount of $5,200, comprised of $7,700 in total damages offset by the $2,500 previously paid by the buyers. The buyers timely appealed. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm.